Stanford University announced today the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, a graduate-level scholarship to prepare a new generation of global leaders with the skills to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world.
The program is named for alumnus Philip H. Knight, MBA ’62, philanthropist, American businessman and co-founder of Nike Inc., who is contributing $400 million, and Stanford’s outgoing 10th President John L. Hennessy. The program builds on Stanford’s preeminent position in higher education, with seven globally ranked multidisciplinary graduate schools that foster service, collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Ambitious in scope and scale, Knight-Hennessy Scholars will annually admit 100 high-achieving students with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment, who are nominated by their undergraduate universities. The goal is to select students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Upon admittance to Stanford’s graduate programs, scholars will receive funding for three years to pursue master’s or doctorate level degrees, or professional programs along with education in leadership, innovation and other curricula designed to develop scholars’ capacity to lead ambitious change in a complex world.
“We wanted to create something enduring, that would be unlike anything else currently available to the world’s brightest minds, and that would make the biggest impact possible toward solving global challenges affecting the environment, health, education and human rights,” said Stanford President John Hennessy, who will serve as the program’s inaugural director after stepping down from his current role as president. “We will bring together outstanding, courageous scholars to benefit from Stanford’s innovative educational environment, who then go on to lead governments, businesses, nonprofits and other complex organizations and develop creative solutions to effect positive change.”